I think so I was nine when I fell in love with Amitabh Bachhan. I saw him in Chitar Haar dancing in a tight sa leather ka jacket and white flares with Rekha and bus! Mujhay love ho gya. In those days in Lahore we used to get only two TV channels: Pakistan and India. Pakistan came every day and all clear, clear but on our TV set India was all fuzzy and buzzy, as if there were fat, black flies flying behind the screen.
Some days it wouldn’t come at all. So then we’d send our driver on to the roof to go shake the antenna, while me and Mummy, we stood inside in front of the screen and shouted to the bearer on the verandah who shouted to the cook in the garden who shouted up to the driver on the roof, ‘Aur hilao. Acchee tarah se. Abhi bhi kharaab hai. Bus, bus, roke do! Ub theek hai.’
Some people used to hang wire kay clothes hangers and steel thaalis on theirs for better perception but Mummy said it makes the house look cheap and ghatiya so ours was just a nanga antenna with bad perception. Daddy said if push comes to shut, we could always hang the driver on it. Mummy said Daddy had sick sense of human.
I think so my most best Amitabh film was Sholay followed by Deevar with Parveen Bobby in it also. I heard baad mein she became a bit cracked and that it was Amitabh who pushed her over the hedge. Sun jhoot!
Anyways, my affair with Amitabh goes back long, long way na. Even before he became Big Bee (or was it Queen Bee?) and India became Bollywood. And Lata Ji was still screeching away in the bagground. Dharmendra could also look quite sexy in his tight nylon shirts but you know na, that I’m a one man woman and so I was faithful to my shweetoo, Amitabh.
But kya karien, bhai ub waqt kay saath bhi tau chalna parhta hai na, so around time of Kuch Kuch Hota Hai I sifted my affectations to my shweetoo sha Shahrukh. (Unlike everyone else I didn’t like him in his first mega hit, DDLJ – but then I’ve never been easy like that – akhir one has to be a lady, no?)
Vaisay tau I like Saif also (he has best bagground being nawab and all) but I’m a one man woman na. Mulloo likes Salman Khan but I told her after Dabang in which his chest muscles tore his shirt, I’m sure now his bums will rip his pants. And she said if I was okay with The Hulk’s ripped trousers then to complain if Salman’s trousers tore just showed I was a racist, that’s all. And I said how could I be a racist about a green man and also that Salman had probably had so many face lifts that he could wear his bikini line as a moustache and she said that haw, didn’t I know that they all had Brazilians?
Vaisay, what’s with all this waxing shaxing, yaar? All these heroes look like plucked chickens, even my shweetoo sha Shahrukh. I’m not saying they should go back to the bad old days of Anil Kapoor in Lamhe who when he took his shirt off looked like he had a black crochay ki shawl draped over his shoulders. But I like a man to look a bit unkept. I think so only Ajay Devgan looks a bit unkept now but I’m not into him. But, chalo, he has Kajol to console him.
Leading ladies mein I used to like Aishwarya but then she became a bit fattish and Madhuri but she became a bit oldish and Kareena became size zero and I think so size zero hona was show offing so I stopped liking her also.
Now I like Katrina Cough because she’s all fear and lovely but Janoo says she can’t act her way out of a paper bag. Why would anyone want to get inside a paper bag in the first place I don’t know but I’ve stopped asking Janoo anything except the time.
Janoo likes bore films like Lunch Box – in which instead of gaana bajaana there’s just khaana pakana. And once upon a time he also liked an Indian film called Pimply Live. Now you see what a crack he is? And how much I deserve Noble Piece Prize for living with him. I swear, it’s only the thought of shweetoo Shahrukh that’s keeping me same.
Moni Mohsin is a Pakistani writer based in London. She is the author of the satirical newspaper-column-turned-novels The Diary of a Social Butterfly and The Return of the Butterfly.
The views expressed by the columnist are personal (as is her grammar)
From HT Brunch, October 18
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